Iran marks 1979 revolution with anti-Israel, anti-US demonstration

by Ray Hunter November 7, 2017, 0:30
Iran marks 1979 revolution with anti-Israel, anti-US demonstration

Iran has put on a show of force to mark the anniversary of the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover and hostage crisis, amid uncertainty over Tehran's nuclear deal with the West.

Thousands gathered at the former United States embassy in downtown Tehran where a missile, believed to be a 2,000-kilometre-range solid-fuel Sejjil, was on display.

A few months after the toppling of the US -backed government of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iranian students, believing the USA embassy was being used as cover for espionage activity aimed at overthrowing the Islamic Republic, stormed the building.

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A crowd chanted "Death to Israel" and "Down with the U.S." during the celebration.

The U.S. and Iran have not held formal diplomatic relations since the crisis, though President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, announced in 2015 they had reached a deal that would lift billions of dollars worth of sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran agreeing to severely restrict its nuclear production. It appeared to be an effort by Iranian authorities to contrast its missile programme against those of countries like North Korea, which now uses its arsenal to threaten the United States.

Shamkhani also noted that the countries that have supported the US's anti-Iran stance over the past years were themselves at a loss.

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In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran on Wednesday, where Khamenei told him that Tehran and Moscow must step up cooperation to isolate the United States and help defuse conflict in the Middle East. Iran and Russia both fight on the side of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

The occasion this year followed the aggressive remarks of the U.S. President Donald Trump against Iran last month, who accused Iran and its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps of agitating regional instability and exporting violence.

Though U.S. diplomats and Central Intelligence Agency officers shredded thousands of documents before the students entered the building, the Iranian researchers spent years piecing each paper slice back together.

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The anniversary has become a day of Iranian nationalism. Many Iranians call it the "den of spies". The rally, which commemorates the students who led the takeover of the building on September 3, 1979, also served as a unified denouncement of US -imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.


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